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Previously, transplantation of ovaries from young, cycling mice into old, postreproductive-age mice increased life span and decreased cardiomyopathy at death. We anticipated that the same factors that increased life span and decreased cardiomyopathy could also influence the progression of orthopedic disease. At 11 months of age, prepubertally ovariectomized and ovary-intact mice (including reproductively cycling and acyclic mice) received new 60-day-old ovaries. At death, epiphyseal bone in the proximal tibia and the distal femur and mid-shaft tibial and femoral diaphyseal bone was analyzed with micro-computed tomography. For qualitative analysis of osteophytosis, we also included mineralized connective tissue within the stifle joint. Prepubertal ovariectomy had the greatest influence on bone volume, ovarian transplantation had the greatest influence on bone architecture and both treatments influenced bone density. Ovarian transplantation increased cortical, but not trabecular bone density and tended to increase osteophytosis and heterotopic mineralization, except in acyclic recipients. These effects may have been dictated by the timing of the treatments, with ovariectomy appearing to influence early development and ovarian transplantation limited to influencing only the postreproductive period. However, major differences observed between cycling, acyclic and ovariectomized recipients of new ovaries may have been, in part due to differences in the levels of hormone receptors present and the responsiveness of specific bone processes to hormone signaling. Changes that resulted from these treatments may represent a compensatory response to normal age-associated, negative, orthopedic changes. Alternatively, differences between treatments may simply be the 'preservation' of unblemished orthopedic conditions, prior to the influence of negative, age-associated effects. These findings may suggest that in women, tailoring hormone replacement therapy to the patient's current reproductive status may improve therapy effectiveness and that beginning therapy earlier may help preserve trabecular bone mineral density that would otherwise be lost during perimenopause.
Jeffrey B. Mason, Boston C. Terry, Samer S. Merchant, Holly M. Mason, and Mahdi Nazokkarmaher. (2015) Manipulation of Ovarian Function Significantly Influenced Trabecular and Cortical Bone Volume, Architecture and Density in Mice at Death. PLOS ONE 10.1371/journal.pone.0145821.